Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Top 10 Craziest Post Offices on Earth and Beyond

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Going to the post office can be one of the most mundaneand dreadeditems on your

to-do list.

But if youve ever had the chance to visit any of the outposts below, you know that not

all post offices are boring.

Here are 10 crazy post offices that make mail delivery seem exciting

10.

Peach Springs and Supai, AZ

The post office in Peach Springs, Arizona isnt much to look atjust a squat yellow

brick building that seems about the right size for a town with a population of just

over 1,000 residents.

The physical facility is unremarkable, except for one unusual featurethe only walk-in

freezer found in a post office in the continental US.

Why does it need this?

The Peach Springs post office has a very unusual missiondelivering mail to the bottom of

the Grand Canyonand that cargo includes a lot of perishable groceries.

The tiny town of Supai, populated by a few hundred members of the Havasupai tribal nation,

sits at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

Supai has its own tiny post office, and residents and tourists are rely on the USPS to deliver

all the provisions that arent otherwise available at the bottom of the canyon.

So, after the mail makes the 70-mile trip to the canyon rim from Peach Springs, how

does it get down to Supai?

Helicopter transport is expensive and unreliable, as choppers cant fly during periods of

high winds.

Enter themule train,” a caravan of up to 50 horses and mules, guided by intrepid

riders, carrying up to 200 pounds each of mail and packages that make the 8-mile trek

down to the base of the canyon and then eventually back up, carrying outgoing mail and trash.

At least 2 mule trains are operating at any given time, so the mules, horses, and riders

are able to rest overnight in the village before making the return trip back up the

next day.

Mail sent from Supai bears a special postmark, indicating that it traveled by mule train

to reach its destination.

Despite the inherent difficulty of the journey and the extreme conditions faced by riders

and mules, scheduled mail delivery has only been skipped twice since 1999.

9.

Inside the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower holds a lot of history within its iconic frame, which was originally constructed

for the entrance to the 1889 Worlds Fair in Paris.

It also holds shops, restaurants, a champagne bar, a conference room, a replica of Gustave

Eiffels original office at the top of the tower, and one more surprising facility: a

post office, which is found on the first floor of the Eiffel Towers south pillar.

While this post office may seem to be a present-day concession to tourists, the Eiffel Tower has

had a post office since it has been open to the public (it was, after all, built for an

exposition designed to attract visitors from around the world).

The original post office was situated at the top of the tower, where, after riding an elevator,

fairgoers could mail postcards from more than 900 feet above ground.

Postmarks from the original post office readSommet de la Tour Eiffel” (Summit of

the Eiffel Tower), or, for less intrepid tourists, after the ground floor post office was added,

1er Etage de la Tour Eiffel” (First floor of the Eiffel Tower) while the contemporary

Eiffel Tower post office offers a more generic postmark, which doesnt specify its less

exalted present-day location within the tower.

8.

Mount Everest Base Camp, Nepal

With post offices closing by the hundreds across the globeincluding in the US, the

UK, South Africa, and Germanyyou may find yourself

complaining about the inconvenienttrekto a more distant post office or having to

contend with more-limited operating hours in your local branch.

However, one post office can put issues of accessibility and availability in perspectivethe

China Post office located in the Mount Everest Base Camp.

The post office, which is actually more of a post tent, has been present (seasonally)

at the Everest Base Camp since 2008.

Sitting at 5,300 meters, its purported to be the worlds highest post office.

However, because of the extreme weather conditions at this altitude, the post office has a rather

short operating windowfrom late April to August each year, when conditions permit a

temporary road to open up from base camp to the town of Tingri.

This remote outpost operates from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during those months, not including

a noontime break for the post offices three workers (apparently, there is no altitude

at which postal workers will not adhere to their break schedules).

There is a markup on the usual postcard rate to compensate for the challenges in transporting

mail from the top of the world to its destinationas of 2016, the post office charged about $1.45

USD to mail a postcard to the UK, whereas elsewhere in Nepal, mailing a postcard would

cost about $0.30 USD.

7.

Underwater (in Vanuatu)

Vanuatu, an island nation in the South Pacific, faces a potentially grim future as the result

of climate change, with some experts suggesting much of the archipelago could eventually be

submerged because of rising sea levels.

However, there is one facility in Vanuatu that is already (deliberately) submerged beneath

the tidesthe worlds only underwater post office, located within Vanuatus Hideaway

Marine Sanctuary.

The post office sits about 10 feet below the surface on the ocean floor.

Opening hours are posted on a nearby beach and a special flag is hoisted to float on

the surface when the postal workers (wearing scuba equipment) are staffing the post office.

The post office has been open since 2003 and several Vanuatu Post staff members received

open water dive training to be able to man the location.

Divers or snorklers are able to mail special waterproof postcards at the underwater outpost

(if snorklers cant dive down to the post office, staff members will help get the postcard

down to the ocean floor).

Because the postcards cant be cancelled using traditional ink, Vanuatu Post developed

a special embossing device to cancel the postcards.

6.

Aogashima Island, Japan (…on an active volcano)

Why would you put a post office on an active volcano?

Even Vanuatu Post (yes, Vanuatu is apparently at the epicenter of postal innovation), only

put a postal box on the crater of Mt. Yasur, where visitors can mail letters steps away

from molten magma spewing into the air.

However, on Japans Aogashima Island, theres really nowhere else to put a post officethe

island is a volcano (actually 4 overlapping calderas).

The population of the isolated island, less than 200 people, are served by a

tiny post office which transmits mail to and from mainland Japan (Tokyo is about 200 miles

to the south of the island).

Life on the island can be described assleepy,” with residents (mainly farmers and fishermen)

enjoying the slow pace of island life, the beauty, and volcanic hot springs that comprise

the island.

However, the volcano is still considered active.

The last time the volcano erupted (in 1785), about half the islands inhabitants perished,

though modern-day inhabitants have the benefit of a volcano alert system that has been operated

by the Japan Meteorological Agency since 2007.

As of 2017, no alerts have been issued for the island, meaning that Aogoshimas population,

and its tiny post office, have had no cause to consider moving away from their volcanic

outpost.

5.

Ny-Alesund, Norway

Ny-Alesund is the worlds northernmost civilian settlementan unincorporated town on a peninsula,

home to more than 10 scientific research stations that draw scientists from around the world,

30 year-round residents, and as many 120 residents during the summer.

It is also the site of the worlds northernmost post office.

Whereas the towns origins are related to mining and expeditions to the North Pole,

today, the towns activity is largely driven by research and tourism.

Given that the town now enjoys fiberoptic internet connections to the rest of the world,

Ny-Alesunds tiny post office exists largely to serve tourists, who arrive at the town

via cruise ship.

Ny-Alesund has long served as a base for expeditions to the North Pole and, given that it is the

most proximate post office to Santa ClausNorth Pole workshop, you might expect that

the post office is busy processing letters to Santa from children across the globe.

However, Santas mail does not pass through Ny-Alesund.

Instead, that flood of Christmas correspondence is handled by the United States Post Office

in North Pole, Alaska.

4.

J.W.

Westcott II, Marine Post Office

Even as the US Postal Service makes cutbacks, at least one US post office has found a way

to stay afloat

literally.

The J.W.

Westcott II, a 45-foot mail boat that serves freighters traversing the Detroit River, is

the nations (and likely the worlds) only floating post office.

The J.W.

Westcott Company of Detroit has been conveying messages between merchant sailors, who are

often aboard ship for months at a time, and their loved ones since 1874.

Mail delivery began in 1895 and the boat has been a registered post office since 1948.

The company motto ismail in the pail,” which literally described how the mail, even

today, is often hoisted aboard freighters using a rope and a bucket.

The J.W.

Westcott II even has its own zip code48222and mail delivered to the freighters is to be

addressed:

Vessel Name Marine Post Office

Detroit, MI 48222

Like many post offices, the J.W.

Westcott has seen a decline in mail volume, as email enables families and friends to stay

in touch more immediately, even aboard ship.

However, the company, which also delivers for UPS and FedEx, reports that it has seen

an increase in package delivery.

The companys contract with the USPS runs to 2021, and the companys owner sees a

long future for his floating post office, pointing out that he has diversified into

personnel transportation and that drone technology may never be cost-effective enough to compete

in the delivery of low-value bulky goods like paper towels.

3.

The Washington Park and Zoo Railway at the Portland Zoo

Today, the idea of a post office on a train may seem like a quirky novelty, and it doesnt

help that the only railway left in the US that offers mail service and its own authorized

postal cancellation, was originally planned as akiddy trainat the zoo and was

sited to serve Oregons 1959 Centennial Celebration.

But whilemail by railnow seems like an anachronism, it was once the gold standard

for express mail delivery in the United States.

From 1862 to 1977, the Railway Post Office (RPO) operated postal cars, which offered

mail sorting and cancellation on trains that crisscrossed the country, operating on 794

routes at its peak.

However, as mail sorting became an automated task, it was increasingly moved to and from

large regional processing centers by truck.

While the Washington Park and Zoo Railway offers the only postal car operating in the

US on a regular basis, another mail car recently rolled again.

The 40th anniversary of the last RPO rail train was celebrated on May 6, 2017 (which

is National Train Day, in case you didnt mark your calendar), with the Northern Pacific

#1102, its RPO car (one of only two known to still be in working order) and postmark

coming out of retirement for a one-day commemorative mail run.

2.

Penguin Post Office, Antarctica

One continents most popular tourist attraction is its post office.

If you guessed Antarctica, which, despite its abundance of natural beauty, has few other

tourist facilities to compete with its tiny post office, youre right!

The so-calledPenguin Post Officeis located on the Antarctic Penninsula at Port

Lockroy, Antarctica, making it the worlds most southerly post office.

The post office, which is operated by the UK Heritage Trust on behalf of the government,

is open for less than 5 months a year (during the Antarctic summer from November to May).

Who uses the post office?

While Port Lockroy has thousands of residents, most of them are penguins, so the 70,000 post

cards that are sent annually from the office come mostly from the 18,000 or so tourists

who arrive every year via cruise ship.

Manning a post office at the bottom of the world, a role that pays $1,700 a month, and

involves, as one member of the four-person team staffing the post office put it, “being

confined to an island the size of a football pitch,” may not seem like everyones cup

of tea.

Nonetheless, hundreds of applicants have vied for a spot in recent years, perhaps inspired

by documentaries on the Penguin Post Office that aired on the BBC and PBS.

1.

China Post Space Office aboard the Shenzhou-8 spacecraft, 213 miles above Earth

The final post office on our list is out of this worldliterally.

Established in 2011, theChina Post Space Office,” has two outpostsone on the ground

of mission control at the Beijing Aerospace Command and one more than 200 miles above

the Earth in the Shenzhou-8 spacecraft.

The post office even has its own zipcode901001and a special postmark that readsBeijing

andSpacein simplified Chinese.

Mail will be processed through the terrestrial branch, but emails can be routed through a

computer aboard the unmanned spacecraft before returning to Earth to be printed out for commemorative

mail.

While this roundabout virtual space mail may be exciting only to true space aficionados,

officials have indicated that future iterations will allow the public to send letters to astronauts

and/or allow physical mail to be transported to space before returning to Earth for delivery.

The Description of Top 10 Craziest Post Offices on Earth and Beyond